WFMU : Freedom is Freeform!
jason on 09/04/2009 at 12:03PM
Silver Apples were one of the most ground-breaking, influential artists of the late 60s. The original duo was comprised of Dan Taylor on an "extensive" drum kit, and vocalist Simeon Coxe III on a homemade 12-oscillator synthesizer nicknamed "The Simeon". The pioneering duo's spacious, psychedelic electronic sound has audibly influenced generations of artists ranging from Suicide to Kraftwerk. In their 3-year existance, the original Silver Apples released two albums on Kapp Records. The label folded before they could release a third, causing the duo to disband as well.
Nearly three decades later, the German label TRC re-released both Silver Apples albums on double CD. Although TRC's release was pirated and issued without Simeon's consent or knowledge, it kindled a renewed interest in the Silver Apples. Inspired by the situation as much as he was upset by the unlicensed reissue, Simeon revived Silver Apples in 1996, officially reissued the group's earlier material, and set about recording new material. In 1997, he began touring with a new group, and one of the group's first stops was here at WFMU for a live performance on The Stork Club on 1/24/1997.
Joined by Michael Lerner on drums, Arrow Kleeman on bass keyboard, and Xian Hawkinds on keyboard and sampler, Simeon and the Silver Apples performed an amazing set of classics (listen to the opening set below), a new song "Fractal Flow", and a cover of Wilson Pickett's "Wait Till the Midnight Hour". The latter prompted an interesting conversation between Simeon and Stork about his own musical influences, as well as Silver Apples' influence on other artists, as demonstrated through remixes, covers and the like. Perhaps as an allusion to the TRC situation, Simeon remarked "if you wanna [cover] my stuff, i love it, i'll help you with it. But just give me some credit. I dont want money out of your pocket, but just give me credit, ya know? A six pack o' beer..."
Silver Apples continue to perform on rare occasions, one of which is coming up one week from today as part of The Oscillations Festival. Oscillations is "A festival of extraordinary audio-visual events celebrating new music, art and film." The second annual festival is currently underway in Belfast, Ireland. Film screenings include Jandek on Corwood, Pierre Henry - The Art of Sound, and an All Tomorrow's Parties documentary. Among the myriad musical performances are Damo Suzuki, Blues Control, and Tropa Macaca.
We are honored to announce that The Oscillations Festival is curating a selection of festival recordings for the Free Music Archive. More on that in the coming days!